Sager LiON Battery mystery

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
I'm the dubiously "proud" owner of a Sager NP8880 'desktop replacement'
notebook.  Since I bought it back in November of 2002, I've had nothing
but trouble with several things, the latest of which is the battery.

When I bought it, I chose to buy an extra LiON battery as a spare for
traveling.  Never mind that these things weigh about 2 pounds each.
Anyways, after a year of use the first battery gradually became less
able to hold a full charge (about 2 hours) and seemed to use up power
at an increasing rate over time.  When I stopped using the first
battery, I was barely able to use it for even 1 hour before it was at

So, I swapped in the spare and started using it regularly.  Same thing
is happening now coming up on a year of use.  It used to hold over 2
hours of charge brand new and this morning it said that at 100%, I had
about 1 hour and 19 minutes of charge.  My usual pattern of use is
charging it overnight, using it 1 hour on the train to work, charging
it at work, and then using it 1 hour on the train home, with a recharge
in the evening for the next day.  What gives?

Some other interesting strangeness:
 - Last night, when I tried to shut down the computer after it hit 0%
again, the OS froze and it wouldn't shut down.  I decided that it was
going to shut off a discharge anyway, so I waited...and waited.  It
took over an hour for the thing to finally die, which led me to believe
maybe the battery metering software is lying to me.
 - Sometimes, after a complete recharge, the battery warning beeper
will go off, even though I know it was fully recharged.  After a while
it will stop and I'll continue using it, but the battery indicator will
steadily (and quickly) drop.
 - The main and most FRUSTRATING pattern I've seen lately is that after
I turn it off with well above 40% left and leave it overnight without
recharging, the next morning it will be at or near 0% charge and I'm
stuck not being able to work on the train because of it.

I DON'T want to have to replace these batteries every year at $90 a
pop!!  Plus, they suck to swap back and forth between two batteries
because Sager was still in the stone age when they engineered this
thing and they actually used SCREWS insead of a catch/release latch.  I
have to carry a friggin screwdriver everywhere I go "just in case" it
freezes up on me.  Try smuggling a screwdriver on an airplane these
days and you'll feel my pain.



Re: Sager LiON Battery mystery

crw wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

My first thought when reading your description is that the laptop is in
standby overnight rather than shut down.  The second thought is that
your battery life is consistent with the expected 2-3 years, depending
on the battery.  My third thought is that you have my admiration for
porting a laptop of nearly 10 lbs.

Consider an aged battery that has a current charge capacity, for
example, of 40% of as-new charge.   If the battery is recalibrated, it
will show 100% charge at what is now 40% of original charge.  If you
have set the first warning at 30% of original charge (actually a voltage
setting), the battery will only have 10% of original charge available if
charged to the recalibrated 100%.  This can certainly be a surprise when
the charge capacity is only minutes when the battery indicates 100%
charged. The charge capacity drops rapidly as the battery is aged, so it
is common for users to be surprised when the battery "suddenly" dies.

 A Lion battery 2+ years old is an "old battery" no matter if it has
been used or not. Most of these do not last longer than 3 years at the
outside.   Your experience is in line with expectations.


Re: Sager LiON Battery mystery

Thanks.  Actually, it's 12 pounds with battery.  In deciding between
less features/less weight and more features/more weight, I opted for
more features so I could get the most out of the $3k I dropped on it.
I've even bought a special backpack to help distribute the load (and
make it more convenient to use the "laptop").

Guess I'll have to build $90 into my "replacement costs" line item of
my budget for a new battery every year and a half.

Re: Sager LiON Battery mystery

crw wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it
Lithium Ion batteries have a limited number of discharge/recharge
cycles. My Inspiron has two which have been functioning since 2002, but
I mostly use my system plugged in. Mine are beginning to fail.

The amount of usage you are doing with battery power would indicate that
the batteries are probably declining normally.

The figure I see most quoted about LI batteries is 300 charge cycles.

Re: Sager LiON Battery mystery

Thanks for this information.  It confirms the next reply and other
forums I've been reading since posting today.

Site Timeline